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Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address Address - Historical - 1835 Address - July 4th - 1822, Connecticut Address - Why Are You A Christian - 1795 Benjamin Franklin's letter to Thomas Paine Discourse - The Birthday of George Washington - February, 1852 Discourse - July 4th - 1796, Massachusetts Discourse - July 4th - 1798, Connecticut Discourse - Settlement of Cape Cod - 1839 Dissertation - Right & Obligation of Civil Magistrate - 1804 Elias Boudinot's Age of Revelation The Founders As Christians The Founders on Gambling George Washington's Farewell Address "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death" Importance of Morality and Religion in Government The Importance of Voting and Christian Involvement in the Political Arena John Jay on the Biblical View of War Letters Between the Danbury Baptists and Thomas Jefferson Oration - Anniversary of Continental Congress - 1874 Oration - July 4th - 1787, New York Oration - July 4th - 1796, Massachusetts Oration - July 4th - 1801, Massachusetts Oration - 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House of Representatives - 1854 Sermon - House of Representatives - 1858 Sermon - House of Representatives - 1860 Sermon - House of Representatives - 1864 Sermon - In Boston - 1814 Sermon - The Infirmities and Comforts of Old Age - 1805 Sermon - Influence of the Gospel upon Intellectual Powers - 1835 Sermon - July 4th - 1794 Sermon - July 4th - 1825, Pennsylvania Sermon - Liberty - 1775 Sermon - Life & Character of Joseph Smith - 1877 Sermon - Living Faith - 1801 Sermon - Loss of Children - 1832 Sermon - Marriage - 1837 Sermon - Memorial Day Sermon - Memorial Day Sermon - Memorial Day - 1875 Sermon - Mexican War - 1848 Sermon - Modern Emigrant - 1832 Sermon - Moral Uses of the Sea - 1845 Sermon - Moral View of Rail Roads - 1851 Sermon - New Planet - 1847 Sermon - New Year - 1799 Sermon - New Year - 1861/ 1862 Sermon - Old Age Improved - 1811 Sermon - Ordination - 1779 Sermon - Ordination - 1790 Sermon - Ordination - 1793 Sermon - Ordination - 1817 Sermon - Overcoming Evil With Good - 1801 Sermon - People Responsible for Character of Rulers - 1895 Sermon - Perjury - 1813 Sermon - Property Tax - 1816 Sermon - Protestant Episcopal Church Convention - 1792 Sermon - Protestant Episcopal Church Convention - 1799 Sermon - Sabbath Day - 1803 Sermon - Saul Consulting Witch of Endor - 1806 Sermon - Slavery - 1791 Sermon - Snow and Vapor - 1856 Sermon - Society in Cambridge - 1802 Sermon - Society in Saybrook - 1803 Sermon - Solar Eclipse - 1806 Sermon - Stamp Act Repeal - 1766 Sermon - State Prison - 1812 Sermon - Succes Failure in Life - 1833 Sermon - Thanksgiving - 1783 Massachusetts Sermon - Thanksgiving - 1795 Massachusetts Sermon - Thanksgiving - 1795 Pennsylvania Sermon - Thanksgiving - 1795 Philadelphia Sermon - Thanksgiving - 1798 Connecticut Sermon - Thanksgiving - 1803 Connecticut Sermon - Thanksgiving - 1850 New York Sermon - Thanksgiving - 1852 Massachusetts Sermon - Thanksgiving - 1864 Connecticut Sermon - The Voice of Warning to Christians - 1800 Should Christians - Or Ministers - 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Speech - House of Representatives - 1881 Thomas Paine Criticizes the Current Public School Science Curriculum
The 2010 Election: The News Inside the News 4th of July Article Advancing the Sanctity of the Unborn Life in the Ft. Hood Massacre Affidavit in Support of the Ten Commandments African American History Resources The Aitken Bible and Congress America's Religious Heritage As Demonstrated in Presidential Inaugurations America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President The American Revolution: Was it an Act of Biblical Rebellion? American Voters and the Abortion Issue Analyzing Legislation An Article V Convention of the States Benjamin Rush Dream about John Adams and Thomas Jefferson The Bible and Taxes The Bible, Slavery, and America's Founders A Black Patriot: Wentworth Cheswell Bob Barr Crosses the Line Calling Muslims to the Capitol? Celebrating Thanksgiving In America A Christian Voter Intimidation Letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and State Christmas With the Presidents Christmas-As Celebrated by the Presidents Church in the U.S. Capitol Churches And Elections - What Is The Law? Confronting Civil War Revisionism: Why The South Went To War Congress, the Culture, and Christian Voting A Constitutional Amendment Restoring Religious Freedom David Barton & the ADL David Barton on President's Day Deconstructionism and the Left Defending The Jefferson Lies: David Barton Responds to his Conservative Critics Did George Washington Actually Say "So Help Me God" During His Inauguration? Echoes of 1860: Is "Life" a Question of State's Rights? Election 2004: A Moral Mandate? Election Resources and Information Electoral College: Preserve or Abolish? Ensuring Judicial Accountability For State Judges Evolution and the Law: “A Death Struggle Between Two Civilizations” Five Judicial Myths The Founders And Public Religious Expressions The Founding Fathers on Creation and Evolution The Founding Fathers on Jesus, Christianity and the Bible The Founding Fathers and Slavery Franklin’s Appeal for Prayer at the Constitutional Convention Frequently Asked Questions Futile Intimidation Attempts George Washington, Thomas Jefferson & Slavery in Virginia God: Missing in Action from American History A Godless Constitution?: A Response to Kramnick and Moore Guns, Kids and Critics H.RES. 888 Health Care and the Constitution Hobby Lobby - They Got It Right Homosexuals in the Military Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act How You Can Be Involved Impeachment of Federal Judges In Hoc Anno Domini Is President Obama Correct: Is America No Longer a Christian Nation? James Madison and Religion in Public The Jefferson Lies: Taking on the Critics John Adams: Was He Really an Enemy of Christians? Addressing Modern Academic Shallownes John Locke – A Philosophical Founder of America John Locke: Deist or Theologian? Judges: Should they be Elected or Appointed? Letter to Pastors about Welfare Comment on Beck Radio Show Limiting an Overreaching Federal Government: Is State Nullification the Solution? The Meaning of Thanksgiving Meet The ACLU MexicoPolicyLetter "One Nation Under God" Political Parties and Morality Potential Constitutional Problems With H.R. 3590 Private Property Rights Resolution Recommended Reading List Religious Acknowledgments in the Capitol Visitor Center Republic v. Democracy A Review of A&E’s "The Crossing" Revisionism: How to Identify It In Your Children's Textbooks Sample Letters to the Editor The Separation of Church and State Solving the Pledge of Allegiance Controversy Statement: David Barton on The Jefferson Lies Steps for Viewing Candidates Scorecards The Story of the Star Spangled Banner Taking On The Critics A Tale of Two Constitutions Ten Commandments Displays Ten Steps To Change America Tea Parties- Same Song, Second Verse Testimony of David Barton on Global Warming Testimony on Global Warming Thanksgiving in America Thomas Jefferson and Religion at the University of Virginia Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: The Search for Truth Treaty of Tripoli Unconfirmed Quotation: Franklin Principles of Primitive Christianity Unconfirmed Quotations War on God in America Was George Washington a Christian? The White House Attack on Religion Continues: Repealing Conscience Protection Why Christians Must Vote in This Election Your Vote Counts Video
A Soldier and a President 2011 Election Information 2011 ProFamily Legislators Conference Addressing Mass Murder and Violent Crime American History: Bachmann v. Stephanopoulos Are You Smarter Than a Fourth Grader? The Barbary Powers Wars A Call to Action Celebrate Columbus Day! Celebrate Constitution Day! Celebrate with Prayer! Celebrating Abigail Adams Celebrating Black History Month: The Rev. Francis J. Grimke Christmas Resolutions (2007) Congressional Prayer Caucus Conscience Protection Amendment - Call Your Senator Today! Conscience Protection Amendment Update The Constitution and the Minority - What Does it All Mean? The Cost of Signing the Declaration of Independence Daniel Webster: The Defender of the U.S. Constitution Deconstructionism Dr. Benjamin Rush Draftsman of the Declaration The Finger of God on the Constitutional Convention The Founders on the Second Amendment Founding Fathers on Prayer The Four Chaplains Free to Speak George Washington's Birthday Getting Out the Vote A God-Given Inalienable Right A God-Given Inalienable Right Under Direct Attack Happy Fourth of July! Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving! An Historic Look at Easter Honor a Veteran! The Jefferson Lies Join the Black Robe Regiment today! The Lesser Known Boudinot The Mayflower and Presidents - What do they have in common? National Bible Week 2007 NBC's "George Washington" and Spielberg's "Lincoln" Noah Webster President Eisenhower's One Nation Under God The Pulpit Initiative The Real Story Behind Old Glory Register Congregations to Vote! Remember the "date which will live in infamy" this Christmas Season Remembering Pearl Harbor Remembering the Reason for Christmas The Response: A Call to Prayer For a Nation in Crisis The Response: An Historic Event Restoring Courage: Standing in Solidarity With Israel Sanctity of Human Life Day A Secular Oath? A Southern View of Black History? Thanksgiving 2007 Their Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor: Richard Stockton This Day in History: D-Day The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - A Forgotten History? Vindicating American Exceptionalism The Webster Regiment Which President earned the nickname "Old Man Eloquent"? Who was known as “First in war, First in peace, First in the hearts of his countrymen”? World Trade Center Cross
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Frequently Asked Questions
11/2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some of the frequently asked questions that WallBuilders receives. Those questions are answered below and include helpful links to pertinent WallBuilders’ articles and products. If you do not find the information you need on this page, please contact us by calling (800) 873-2845 or emailing wbcustomerservice@wallbuilders.com.


About WallBuilders

WallBuilders Programs

WallBuilders Recommendations for Curriculum and Universities

America’s Founding Fathers

The Aitken Bible and Congress

The Treaty of Tripoli

The Origins of Separation of Church and State

The Founders and Slavery

The Founders and Freemasonry

The Bible and Church in America

Book Accuracy & Revisionism

WallBuilders and Unconfirmed Quotations

Issues

How to Make a Difference


About WallBuilders

What is WallBuilders?
WallBuilders is an organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built.
For more information about WallBuilders, our goals, and activities, see our About Us page.

How can I get a WallBuilders speaker to come to my event or area?
Fill out this simple form, which usually needs to be done 6-9 months in advance.
We also have a calendar of upcoming speaking events. Events are typically posted up to 3 months prior to the event and include all public events for our speakers. If you don't see an event in your area, check back weekly as the calendar changes regularly.

Who are the speakers for WallBuilders?
We have five speakers (click on their name to see their bios): David Barton, Rick Green, Timothy Barton, retired Judge Rene Diaz, and Matt Krause.

Can I volunteer or intern at WallBuilders?
WallBuilders welcomes volunteers and interns! For more information, please contact us at info@wallbuilders.com.

Does WallBuilders have a study guide or curriculum for the American Heritage Series DVD set?
A curriculum for the American Heritage Series is now being created. Currently, hundreds of churches are using this DVD series as a stand-alone curriculum. WallBuilders also offers a second set, Building on the American Heritage Series, for which a curriculum is also currently being created.

Does WallBuilders have a Twitter account or Facebook page?
You can follow WallBuilders on Twitter and you can become a WallBuilders Facebook fan. You can also subscribe to WallBuilders YouTube channel.

Can I repost or reprint articles from the WallBuilders website? What about excerpts from WallBuilders books?
Generally yes. As long as a link to the WallBuilders website is provided or its source is given, a person or organization can repost or reprint any article from the WallBuilders Library section. It’s important to remember, however, that we do occasionally make changes to our online articles, so posting an article on your website may not always keep the information current. An option is to post a link to the article from the WallBuilders site instead of posting the entire article on another web page; this will ensure the article is always current. Reprinting excerpts from books has more specific guidelines established by federal law (since WallBuilders books are copyrighted), so if you have any additional questions about permissions, email info@wallbuilders.com.


WallBuilders Programs

What is the Congressional Pastors’ Briefing?
The WallBuilders Pastors’ Briefing is a two-day event in Washington, D. C. for pastors and ministry leaders only. The Briefing includes a private tour of the U. S. Capitol, and the opportunity to hear from a dozen different leading Senators and Congressmen about Biblical values and issues currently being dealt with in Congress. The slots for each Briefing are limited due to size constraints within the Capitol, and those slots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The dates for these events vary each year but will be posted on the website as they become known, typically at the beginning of the year. (We often have to wait for the official congressional calendar to be issued by the House Speaker before we can confirm definite dates.) If you want us to inform your pastor about this incredible opportunity, or if you are a pastor interested in attending, please submit this simple form. If you are interested in helping underwrite the expenses of our Congressional Pastor’s Briefings, please visit our donations page.

What is the ProFamily Legislative Network and Conference?
The ProFamily Legislative Network serves as a link between pro-family leaders and legislators across the nation and pro-family legislation from other states. Excellent pieces of pro-family legislation are regularly introduced or passed in individual states, but like-minded legislators from other states are often unaware of those good measures. Not only does this deprive that state and its citizens of the benefits of such legislation but it also causes legislators to waste countless hours replicating work already done – thus the need for the ProFamily Legislative Network.
ProFamily Legislative Network also sponsors an annual ProFamily Legislators Conference unlike any other legislators’ event. Pro-family state legislators from across the United States gather together for three days of insightful briefings from leading experts on crucial issues that will be arising in the upcoming legislative session. For information on the conference, or to send your state legislator information about this important event, please contact us at (800) 263-9529 or at kristine@profamily.com. If you are interested in helping underwrite the expenses of this year’s important conference, please visit our donations page.

What is WallBuilders Live?
WallBuilders Live! is a daily radio journey with David Barton and Rick Green that examines current news issues in light of the principles set forth both by the Founding Fathers and the Bible. Featured guests regularly include Congressmen, Senators, Governors, and other elected officials, as well as activists, authors, issue experts, etc. The program is heard on approximately 170 stations across the nation and is also downloaded by hundreds of thousands of citizens. To check for a station near you, visit our stations list. For information about how to get WallBuilders Live! aired on your local station, please contact us at radio@wallbuilders.com.


WallBuilders Recommendations

What home school curriculum does WallBuilders recommend?
There are many excellent curriculums available, and often the choice between them is much like choosing between a Ford, Chrysler, or Toyota – they are all going to get you where you need to go, so it boils down to a matter of style and personal preference. Some of the leading home school curriculums include (and these recommendations do not necessarily mean that WallBuilders agrees with everything taught in these curriculums):

What colleges or universities does WallBuilders recommend?
There are many good institutions of higher learning whose educational approach is not only academically excellent but is also consistent with traditional conservative moral, religious, and constitutional values. The listings below include some of these schools. (Recommendations do not necessarily mean that WallBuilders agrees with everything taught at these schools, nor with every professor who teaches there.) This list is definitely not exhaustive, but it does include many schools with whom we have actively cooperated.


America’s Founding Fathers

Were the Founding Fathers Christians?
It can be easily demonstrated that a very high percentage – in fact, the overwhelming majority – of Founding Fathers were Christians, but certainly not all of them were. Today, citizens are regularly told about the lesser religious Founders (such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine), but hear nothing about the prominent Christians among the Founders (for example, 29 of the 56 signers of the Declaration held what are today considered seminary or Bible school degrees, and many others of the signers were bold and outspoken in their personal Christian faith). Significantly, not one of the Founding Fathers was secular in his orientation; even Thomas Paine (certainly the least religious of the Founders) openly acknowledged God and announced his belief in his personal accountability to God, and he also directly advocated teaching creationism in the public school classroom (see “Thomas Paine Criticizes the Current Public School Science Curriculum”). Over 250 individuals are historically considered Founding Fathers (e.g., the signers of the Declaration, the signers of the Constitution, the framers of the Bill of Rights, leading state governors and generals in the Revolution, etc.), but typically critics list only the handful of the least religious from among the 250 to claim that all the Founders were deists or secular.
For some resources on this issue, see the following:

What were some of the difficulties faced, and sacrifices made, by signers of the Declaration?
Most of the signers of the Declaration experienced great hardships during the Revolutionary War, up to and including death (many of them actually did not live to see the national independence for which they had personally pledged their own “lives, fortune, and sacred honor”). Additionally, two were wounded in battle: George Walton and Thomas Heyward, both of whom were held as prisoners for a time. Arthur Middleton was also captured and held as a prisoner, as was Richard Stockton. And many of them (17) lost their homes or property, including Josiah Bartlett (home set on fire), William Ellery (home set on fire), Lewis Morris (much of his property was destroyed and his house was “greatly injured”), Richard Stockton (lands devastated, library burned), John Hart (house ransacked, mill and crops destroyed), George Clymer (belongings destroyed), Lyman Hall (all his property was confiscated), Francis Lewis (library burned, house plundered), the Rev. John Witherspoon (his house was invaded and his cherished theological library was burned), George Wythe, and others. Many were forced to flee their homes, escaping just in time to avoid capture; including Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, George Clymer, Thomas Jefferson, Arthur Middleton’s family, Lyman Hall, Francis Lewis, and William Floyd. Some of the signers also dealt with severe family hardship or loss: Abraham Clark had two of his three sons held as prisoners, tortured, and abused; Francis Lewis’ wife was held as prisoner for several months during which time her health so deteriorated that it resulted in her premature death; John Witherspoon’s oldest son, James, was killed during the Battle of Germantown. These are some of the many examples; and the wives of the signers also endured unspeakable hardships.
For more information about the sacrifices made by the signers of the Declaration and their wives, see these two older textbooks books reprinted by WallBuilders:

How many signers of the Declaration were ministers?
Many were trained as ministers, but at the time of the signing of the Declaration, only a few were active in ministry. For example John Witherspoon was serving as a minister at that time; Robert Treat Paine served as a military chaplain during the Revolution; and Lyman Hall had served as a minister before the Revolution; etc. However, there are many others who should also be noted for their ministry work, including Francis Hopkinson, a church music director and choir leader who edited a famous American hymnbook; Roger Sherman, who wrote the doctrinal creed for his denomination in Connecticut; Benjamin Rush, who started Sunday School in America and founded the country’s first Bible Society; James Wilson, who had been trained as a clergyman in Scotland but became an attorney, teaching students the Biblical basis of civil law; and many others. In fact, at least 29 of the signers had been trained in schools whose primary purpose was the preparation of ministers, including John Adams, Samuel Adams, Carter Braxton, Charles Carroll, William Ellery, Elbridge Gerry, Lyman Hall, John Hancock, Benjamin Harrison, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Francis Hopkinson, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Lewis, Philip Livingston, Thomas Lynch, Arthur Middleton, Lewis Morris, Thomas Nelson Jr., William Paca, Robert Treat Paine, Benjamin Rush, James Smith, Richard Stockton, William Williams, James Wilson, John Witherspoon, Oliver Wolcott, and George Wythe. They attended universities and seminaries of learning such as Harvard, Yale, William and Mary, Princeton, Cambridge, and Westminster.
For more information on the education of the signers of the Declaration, see this older textbook reprinted by WallBuilders:
Lives of the Signers

What was the role of the judiciary (especially the Supreme Court) envisioned by the Founding Fathers?
The Founding Fathers deliberately designed the judiciary to be the weakest of the three branches of government – a fact they repeatedly made clear in the famous Federalist Papers, the congressional debates, and their own writings. They rejected the notion that the judiciary should be able to challenge or rival either the Executive or the Legislative branch in importance or power.
For more information on this issue, see the following resources:


The Aitken Bible and Congress

What involvement did Congress have with the Aitken Bible – that is, the 1782 “Bible of the Revolution”?
Because English language Bibles could not be printed in America but had to be imported, when the Revolution began and the British began to blockade all materials coming to America, the ability to obtain such Bibles ended. Therefore, in 1777, America began experiencing a shortage of several important commodities, including Bibles. On July 7, a request was placed before Congress to print or import more, because “unless timely care be used to prevent it, we shall not have Bibles for our schools and families and for the public worship of God in our churches.” Congress concurred with that assessment and announced: “The Congress desire to have a Bible printed under their care and by their encouragement.” A special committee overseeing that project therefore recommended:

[T]he use of the Bible is so universal and its importance so great, . . . your Committee recommend that Congress will order the Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles from Holland, Scotland, or elsewhere, into the different ports of the States of the Union.
Congress agreed with the committee’s recommendation and ordered Bibles imported. While those Bibles were ordered imported by Congress, there is no indication that any ever arrived.
Four years later, in January of 1781, Robert Aitken (publisher of the Pennsylvania Magazine in Philadelphia) petitioned Congress for permission to print an English-language Bible on his presses in America rather than import the Bibles. In his memorial to Congress, Aitken said “your Memorialist begs leave to, inform your Honours That he both begun and made considerable progress in a neat Edition of the Holy Scriptures for the use of schools” and went on to say “your Memorialist prays, that he may be commissioned or otherwise appointed & Authorized to print and vend Editions of, the Sacred Scriptures, in such manner and form as may best suit the wants and demands of the good people of these States.” Congress appointed a committee that was to “from time to time [attend] to his progress in the work; that they also [recommend] it to the two Chaplains of Congress to examine and give their opinion of the execution.” The committee, comprised of Founding Fathers James Duane, Thomas McKean, and John Witherspoon reported back to Congress in September of 1782 giving its full approval. They also included assurances from the two chaplains of Congress that “Having selected and examined a variety of passages throughout the work, we are of opinion that it is executed with great accuracy as to the sense, and with as few grammatical and typographical errors as could be expected in an undertaking of such magnitude.” Congress gave Aitken a ringing endorsement in the form of a congressional resolution to “publish this Recommendation in the manner he shall think proper” to help sell and circulate the Bible.
Robert Aitken then proceeded to print his Bible, now known as the Aitken Bible or the Bible of the Revolution. That Bible – approved by the Founding Fathers in Congress – was the first English-language Bible to be printed in America.
You can view the Congressional actions concerning the Aitken Bible in the WallBuilders “Library” section here:


The Treaty of Tripoli

What is the origin of the phrase “America is in no sense founded on the Christian religion”? What does it mean?
This quote comes from a line in the Treaty of Tripoli from 1797. While this line is regularly invoked by critics in a futile attempt to prove that America never was a Christian nation, this line is only a small incomplete portion of the full quote. It is taken from a 1797 treaty approved by America in the midst of our first War on Terror against Islamic terrorism. In it, the Muslims acknowledged that America was a Christian nation, and America reminded the Muslims that we were not a European Christian nation with an inherent hostility against Muslims – that is, that we were not a European, Middle-Ages type of Christian nation.
To see the full and complete quotation, and for a more thorough analysis of this phrase and why it was used, see WallBuilders’ article "Treaty of Tripoli."


Origins of Separation of Church and State

Where did the phrase “separation of church and state” come from? What does it mean?
The phrase “separation of church and state” comes especially from the 1500s, and was a product of the Reformation in Europe.
In the fourth century A.D., the government took control of the church and began to establish specific doctrinal tenets by law, making the church an official organ of government and using coercion and brutal penalties against those who did not submit to government-established theology. That abhorrent practice predominated until some religious leaders began to oppose it in the 1300s. Eventually, over a span of two-and-a-half centuries, numerous individuals in different nations across Europe raised their voice against the government union of church and state. After all, God Himself had separated the two institutions, placing Moses over civil affairs and Aaron over spiritual ones; and when King Uzziah tried to combine the two functions in 2 Chronicles 26, God Himself struck him down, thus reaffirming the institutional separation He had established. (Those European leaders and their followers who objected to many of the unBiblical operations of both the state and the state-established and state-run church became known as “Dissenters”.)
The first recorded usage of the separation phrase occurred during the reign of King Henry VIII of England. Henry had sought a divorce, but when the church rightly denied it, Henry established his own government-run church and awarded himself the divorce. The Parliament also passed laws decreeing who could and could not participate in the Lord’s Supper and other sacraments, even deciding who could and could not preach the Gospel. The Rev. Richard Hooker objected, and is credited with being the first to use the separation phrase, demanding that the government stay out of what was rightly the church’s jurisdiction.
Since those who came to America afterwards were largely Dissenters and generally held the same view as their Dissenting leaders in Europe, the separation phrase was widely used in America for the next century-and-a-half, especially in objecting to British attempts to establish official theology or British-run churches in America.
The most frequently referenced American source for the contemporary usage of the separation phrase today is an 1802 letter written by President Thomas Jefferson to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, in which he assured them that because of “the wall of separation between church and state” the government would not interfere with or inhibit their religious practices or expressions, whether occurring in private or public. But in 1947, the Supreme Court reversed the traditional use of this phrase, for the first time allowing the government to interfere with and even prohibit religious practices and expressions, especially when occurring in public – a complete reversal of the historic meaning of the phrase and its usage both by Jefferson and those in previous centuries. Consequently, the modern application of this phase bears nearly no resemblance to either its historical or Biblical origins.
For information and sources for this issue, see the following resources:


The Founding Fathers and Slavery

Did the Founding Fathers own slaves?
Some Founding Fathers did own slaves, most notably George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. However, these were a minority among the Founders; most did not own slaves and openly opposed slavery or led anti-slavery societies. The Founders often acknowledged that slavery had been fastened upon them by the British, and after America finally separated from Great Britain in the American Revolution, many of the Founders freed their slaves. Unfortunately, when this issue is covered today, critics often point to Jefferson and Washington and then suggest that all the Founders were racist, bigoted slave-owners, regularly failing to mention Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Samuel Adams, John Adams, and the majority of the other Founders who strongly and actively opposed slavery.
For information on this issue, see the following articles:


The Founders and Freemasonry

Is there a link between the Freemasons and the Founding Fathers? Were the Founding Fathers Masons?
There was a connection with Freemasonry for a few of the Founding Fathers, but the overwhelming majority were not involved with Freemasonry. Furthermore, what Freemasonry has become today with its anti-Biblical teachings and oaths was definitely not what Freemasonry was at the time the few Founders were involved with it. Freemasonry was introduced into America in 1734, and went through major transformative philosophical changes in 1799, 1813, 1825, and especially in the 1840s and 1850s, when it finally became the organization it is and adopted the anti-Biblical teachings and practices that characterize it today – teachings and practices adopted decades after the deaths of the Founding Fathers.
WallBuilders has a book that addresses this issue in depth: The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers


The Bible and Church in America

Can the church be involved in politics? Should the church be involved in politics?
Absolutely yes on both counts! The Bible offers strong precedent, and the Founding Fathers made it clear that they considered Christian involvement and the voice of the pulpit essential to good government, and that the pulpit should address the realms of public policy and political leadership among other Biblical topics. In recent decades, there has been a diligent, concerted effort by many secularist organizations to keep Christians and Christian leaders not only out of politics but also from speaking about its issues, but Christians should not fear or draw back from direct involvement.
For more on this issue, see the following resources:

Were there church meetings in the Capitol building?
Definitely yes! The Capitol served as a prominent church building from 1800 until the latter part of the nineteenth century. Regular attendants at the church in the Capitol included presidents, congressmen, and local citizens. For details and more information on this interesting but today largely unknown aspect of our federal history, see “Church in the U.S. Capitol."

Does the Bible address specific types of taxes?
Yes, some of which are included in “The Bible and Taxes”.

Are there Bible verses to support our republican form of government?
Yes, including Exodus 18:21 and Deuteronomy 1:15-16 among many others. There are numerous early sermons on how the Bible shaped this characteristic of our form of civil government, including two posted on our website: a 1775 sermon by Rev. Jacob Duche titled “ The Duty of Standing Fast in Our Spiritual and Temporal Liberties,” and an 1840 sermon by Rev. Mellish Irving Motte titled “The Christian Patriot.”
For more on this issue, see the following resource:
The Role of Pastors & Christians in Civil Government (Book and DVD)

What does Jeremiah 17: 9 have to do with the separation of powers between the three branches of government?
The Founders’ desire to separate and check governmental power was rooted in the principle in Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?” This verse encapsulated a prominent theological teaching among Puritans, Calvinists, and most other Christian movements and denominations: the “depravity of man”; that is, that the unrestrained heart of man moves naturally toward moral and civil degradation unless directly acted upon by the positive influence of God and religion. Because of this harmful tendency of man (especially when power is placed in his hands), the Founders believed that society would be much safer if all power did not repose in the same authority. Many of the Founders specifically cited this Biblical principle as the source of their reasoning on this aspect of our government.
For more on this issue, see the WallBuilders Summer 1996 newsletter.


Book Accuracy & Revisionism

How do I know if a book I have or have read is accurate? Is there a way to verify the reliability of a book?
Verifying the historical accuracy of a book is not always an easy task, but there are some helpful guidelines. First, look at the date of the book and compare it with the period of history it addresses. If it was printed or written during or shortly after the time period it addresses, then there is a much higher likelihood that it will be based on what are considered primary sources – the most reliable wellspring of accurate historical information.
If, however, it is a modern book addressing long past historical events or persons, there are certain things you should look for. For example, if the author relies heavily on primary sources (books written during the time period, letters or essays of the people involved, autobiographies, etc.) rather than secondary sources (modern books about the incident, or books heavily citing the opinions of modern writers, scholars, and academics), then the book is much more likely to be reliable. (A primary source is defined as “an original fundamental and authoritative document pertaining to an event or subject of inquiry; a firsthand or eyewitness account of an event.” A secondary source is defined as “any document that describes an event, person, place, or thing, usually not created contemporaneously.”) Works based heavily on modern secondary sources rather than original ones usually contain historical errors, thus resulting in revisionism, whether intentional or accidental.
As an example of the latter category, consider The Search for Christian America, wherein three academic scholars purport to investigate whether America really did have a Christian founding. They ultimately concluded that it did not; but an examination of the bibliography list at the end of their book is very revealing, for while the book claims to examine the Founding Era (generally dated as 1760-1805), a striking 88 percent of the “historical sources” on which the authors rely were printed after 1900, and 80 percent of the sources were printed after 1950! Comparing their conclusions against primary source historical documents affirms that the book contains several historical errors, but the mistakes were likely introduced without malicious intent; the inaccuracies were simply the result of quoting modern sources rather than primary ones.
An example of what appears to be deliberate and intentional revisionism is readily seen in The Godless Constitution. Cornell Professors Isaac Kramnick and Laurence Moore assert that the Founding Fathers were a collective group of atheists, agnostics, and deists who deliberately set out to create a secular government. Unfortunately, this text has become a staple of many universities across the country; and law reviews, courts, and other professors now cite this work as an authoritative source to “prove” the Founding Fathers’ alleged lack of religious beliefs. Strikingly, however, in the location at the end of the book where footnotes customarily appear, the two professors candidly acknowledge that “we have dispensed with the usual scholarly apparatus of footnotes.”
What a startling admission by two so-called academic PhDs! They make sweeping and forceful claims about an alleged lack of faith predominating among the Founding Fathers; their peers in academia herald this book as a great scholarly achievement; but there is not a single academic citation in the book to any original source or primary document. Not even a student at a small local junior college would be permitted to submit a research paper with the same lack of primary source documentation, but somehow it is acceptable for “accomplished” professors at a noted academic institution to do so. So, if you are looking to ensure historical accuracy, avoid modern historical books that fail to cite their sources!
Generally, when dealing with early America, we have found that biographies and history works written before 1900 tend to present the most honest view. Those older books typically have not been infected with our modern agendas and thus more accurately acquaint us with the period, customs, facts, and circumstances of that particular time. We place about a 75 percent confidence in works printed from 1900-1920, since various historical agendas were beginning to emerge at that time. We place only about a 50 percent reliance on works from 1920-1950 and less than a 20 percent reliance on those from the 1960s forward.
Generally, the more modern the book, the more it has been infected with the five modern historical malpractices of Deconstructionism, Poststructuralism, Minimalism, Modernism, and Academic Collectivism. The exception to this modern trend is when a book has an abundance of primary source documentary citations, such as books by David McCullough, Dumas Malone, Daniel Dreisbach, James Hutson, Peter Lilliback, and others. Also, there are now many online sources where you can download or read many old original historical works and biographies; and many older texts have also been reprinted and are now available through major book outlets such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

What is revisionism?
The dictionary defines revisionism as an “advocacy of the revision of an accepted, usually long-standing view, theory, or doctrine; especially a revision of historical events and movements.” Revisionism attempts to alter the way a people views its own history and traditions in an effort to persuade them to accept a change in public policy that they otherwise might not embrace.
For more information and examples of revisionism, see the following resources:


WallBuilders and Unconfirmed Quotations

Did David Barton make up quotes?
No, absolutely, definitely not! David Barton and WallBuilders are known for their meticulous, painstaking documentation of facts and quotes. For this reason, his works are heavily relied on and used by leaders at all levels of government, including elected officials, judges and courts, and teachers and educational institutions. In fact, many of his works are used as textbooks in universities across the nation, and some of the textbooks he has helped write have become bestsellers in public schools across the country.
Characteristic of David’s books are the numerous pages of extensive footnotes they contain – footnotes heavily documented by what are considered legal standards, the highest and most accurate standards since they rely extensively on primary source documents. Originally, in some of WallBuilders’ early books, specifically The Myth of Separation (which has been updated and reprinted as Original Intent: The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion), David had used the academic standard rather than the legal standard (under the academic standard, citations may be made to secondary sources such as professors and other academic scholarly works). But unlike so many other modern academic writers (especially such writers among his critics), David no longer uses the academic standard but instead relies almost exclusively on the legal standard. He has challenged his critics to rise to the same high level of scholarship and documentation, but thus far they have not accepted the challenge.
The difference between an academic and a legal standard is actually very recognizable. Under the academic standard, the writer may properly say that “professor so and so tells us that James Madison said . . .”, but under the legal standard, the writer must quote the specific James Madison letter or writing from which his quote is taken; hearsay evidence such as someone else’s opinion (e.g., a professor or other writer) is not acceptable. David has always documented his quotes, but he now no longer uses secondary sources (which is completely acceptable in the academic community) but only primary sources (the higher requirement of the legal community). And why not? David owns some 100,000 works that predate 1812; so why should he quote a professor or some other scholar when he can quote the actual document instead? (By the way, because these original documents have now been used to expose many assertions of modern professors and writers about the Founding Fathers as being inaccurate claims, it is primarily for this reason that they attack David and accuse him of making up his quotes – they have been embarrassed at having their historically inaccurate agenda exposed.)
Some twenty years ago when David moved from the academic standard to the legal standard, he compiled a list of several Founding Father quotes that he and numerous other writers had used about early America (these were all quotes which he had fully documented under academic standards); he announced that he would no longer use those quotes until he found them in original sources. Significantly, over the past twenty years, he has now found many of those quotes in original sources (thus affirming their authenticity) and has returned to using them. Thus far, however, his critics still have maintained their practice of citing each other rather than original historical documents.
(This unfortunate practice is known as Academic Collectivism, whereby “experts” rely on each other’s claims as the standard for truth. This practice advances an incestuous system of peer-review as the measurement for whether an historical fact is accurate or errant, and thus many modern professors frequently quote each other to show they are “right” when in reality actual documents often prove the opposite of what they claim.)
To see the list of academic quotes that David compiled, along with quotes that have now been verified by primary source documents, see our “Unconfirmed Quotations” list.


Issues

Where can I get information on voting issues?
For information on elections and voting resources, see the following:

Where can I get information on black history issues?
WallBuilders has numerous articles and many resources on black history. See African American History Resources
Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White (Book or DVD)

Where can I get information on additional cultural and historical issues?
There are many helpful organizations that address several diverse topics. For a list of such organizations, see our “Helpful Links” page.
WallBuilders also has additional resources appearing throughout the website – resources not referenced on this page – that you may find helpful. You can browse our various sections, or simply enter a key word in the “search” box on the home page.
For a wide variety of articles, documents, proclamations, sermons, and more from WallBuilders, please visit our Library section.
For a list of books worth reading, see our “Recommended Reading List
For a collection of WallBuilders' email blasts on various historical issues, see our Updates from WallBuilders section.
For a daily national radio program by David Barton and Rick Green addressing current issues, see WallBuilders Live!


How to Make a Difference

How can I make a difference? What can I do?
We encourage people of faith to be involved in the civic arena, whether through prayer or direct engagement. A minimum action is voting, but there is much else that can also be done. The need for our involvement was accurately identified well over a century ago by U. S. President and Gospel minister James A. Garfield, who declares: “Now, more than ever, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation. . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” WallBuilders wholeheartedly believes the truth of this statement and strives to meet this growing need through our services to clergy and people of faith around the country.
Learn more about how you can make a difference and take a stand for America in these articles:

If you would specifically like to help WallBuilders, consider a few options:

1. Contribute
  • Time
    Giving your time and services through volunteering is a vital part of our success as an organization. If you would like to volunteer your time or services to WallBuilders in any capacity, contact info@walbuilders.com.
  • In-Kind Donations
    You can donate to WallBuilders through non-cash contributions of goods or services. Please contact us at development@wallbuilders.com for more information on making an in-kind contribution.
  • Financial Donations
    As a non-profit organization, WallBuilders depends on generous gifts from individuals like you. Whether you become one of our monthly supporters or make a special gift, your financial partnership is vital.
2. Participate
From conferences to speaking engagements to our national radio program, there are a number of ways you can be part of what God is doing at WallBuilders. The links below have information regarding some of these specific activities:
3. Pray
We believe in the power of prayer and look to the Lord for His guidance and blessing for America and WallBuilders. We consider prayer so important to our ministry that we have staff whose sole responsibility is to pray. God has been exceedingly gracious to us, and it is by His goodness that WallBuilders prospers. Your prayers are foundational. Here are some specific ways you can pray:

  • For Our Nation
    2 Chronicles 7:14 says that if we humble ourselves and seek God’s face, He will heal our land. Pray for God’s Divine hand and blessing on our country and restoration for His people.
  • For Our Political Leaders
    God commands us in 1Timothy 2:1-2 to pray for those in authority, specifically for our civil leaders. Pray that God will anoint them with wisdom and godliness.
  • For Your Pastor
    Pray for boldness and strength for spiritual leaders to speak the truth boldly and with clarity as they lead our country back to its moral and religious foundations.
  • For WallBuilders
    Pray for God’s favor, guidance, and wisdom for our endeavors.
  • For WallBuilders Speakers
    WallBuilders currently has 5 speakers who address hundreds of groups all around the country each year. Please pray for protection and favor on our speakers, and that those who hear them will be motivated to become good stewards of the blessings God has bestowed on this country.
4. Inspire/Multiply
Each of us is privileged to share the mission of advancing God’s kingdom and promoting righteousness and morality in our government in America. As an individual, you can spread this news to your family, friends, and the public leaders that serve you; one way you can do this is by giving and introducing our materials to those around you. To obtain these resources, visit our Online Store, call us at 817-441-6044, or email us at wbcustomerservice@wallbuilders.com – and be sure to ask about quantity discounts.

If you would like to be informed of current events from an historical and Biblical perspective, sign up for our email updates.

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